Mayors in Pot-Friendly Cities Urge Federal Marijuana Reform

Seven mayors from western states where marijuana has been legalized say it is time for the federal government to catch up with a trend they say will inevitably lead to lawful availability of weed nationwide.

Mayors from seven US cities in states with legal marijuana have formed a coalition to push for federal marijuana policy reform just days after President Trump expressed support for bipartisan congressional legislation to ease the federal ban on pot, reports the Christian Science Monitor. The mayors represent Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Portland, Ore., and West Sacramento, Calif. The seven sponsored a resolution approved at the US Conference of Mayors in Boston this week that asked the US government to remove cannabis from a list of illegal drugs, among other things. The federal ban that puts marijuana on the same level as LSD and heroin has created a conflict with states that have legalized pot, creating a two-tiered enforcement system at the state and federal levels.

“As mayors of cities that have successfully implemented and managed this new industry, we have hands-on experience that can help Congress take the right steps to support other local governments as they prepare to enter this new frontier,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, who led the coalition. “We all face common challenges.” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said marijuana businesses employ thousands of people and generate millions of dollars in Oregon. He predicted that legalization eventually will come to every state. The resolution comes after Mr. Trump said he would “probably” back a bipartisan congressional effort to ease a US ban on the drug that about 30 states have legalized in some form. The bill supported by both parties was introduced June 7 and would dramatically reshape the nation’s legal landscape for pot users and businesses.